BOISE -- Boise Police were justified when they opened fire on a wanted fugitive who shot two officers and a police dog during a manhunt on the Boise Bench in November, an investigation has concluded.
The suspect, 33-year-old Marco Romero, died in the exchange of gunfire. Before he was killed, Romero shot Cpl. Chris Davis and Cpl. Kevin Holtry along with K9 Jardo.
Holtry was paralyzed and lost his left leg in the shooting. Davis, who was shot through the leg, returned to work last year. Jardo died from his injuries day after the shooting.
Twin Falls County Prosecuting Attorney Grant Loebs, who reviewed the Critical Incident Task Force investigation, announced Friday that he was clearing the officers who shot Romero.
"After reading the reports, conferring with the detectives who headed up the CITF investigation, reviewing the evidence of the incident, and considering all relevant information, including the facts related above, I have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to support a criminal charge against any of the law enforcement officers involved in this incident for the shooting death of Marco Romero," Loebs said in a statement. "To the contrary: The facts in this case reveal that Mr. Romero's staggeringly violent crime spree, culminating with the shooting of two Boise Police Officers and a Boise Police K9 came to an end only when he was shot by Boise Police Officers in the exercise of their lawful duty. All the witnesses believed that the officers present had legitimate fears for their safety, the safety of their fellow officers, and the safety of the general public because of Romero's violent actions. Mr. Romero, through his unlawful and violent acts, was a continuing, clear and immediate danger to law enforcement officers who were engaged in the lawful performance of their duties, and a serious ongoing danger to the public at large. The actions of the officers who fired upon Mr. Romero were, therefore, legal, justified and necessary."
The shooting happened Nov. 11 as members of Boise Police's Special Operations Unit searched yards and around houses in the Central Rim neighborhood for Romero, who was wanted for shooting several people during a gathering in a Meridian apartment days before.
Romero, who was crouched down near a fence, shot Holtry in the back as the officer moved into the yard. He was killed in the ensuing gunfight.
Holtry spent months at Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver before returning to Boise in March.
“This is the kind of incident that leaves a lasting impact on a police department and the community,” Boise Police Chief Bill Bones said.“As they do every day, on November 11th Boise Police officers put their lives on the line to protect the community from dangerous criminals capable of violent acts. In the days after Corporal Holtry, Corporal Davis, and K9 Jardo were injured, we were overwhelmed with support from the community. It’s this relationship that allows our officers to proudly put their uniform on every day, protect those in need and stand up to evil.”